The new Vauxhall Vivaro van will be taking to the roads in 2015 as the tour bus for a series of British bands.
The first to take the wheel was Sunderland’s Frankie and the Heartstrings, launching the initiative in partnership with Independent Venue Week.
Frankie and the Heartstrings toured the UK throughout Independent Venue Week, beginning with a gig at Bedford Esquires, in partnership with Vauxhall Motors. At the end of their tour the keys will be passed over to another band.
Frankie and the Heartstrings, since forming in 2008, have performed at Glastonbury, supported Kaiser Chiefs on their UK tour and have grown to popular on BBC 6 Music.
Frankie and the Heartstrings commented: “It’s great that Vauxhall are supporting Independent Venue Week. There is a strata of bands that without independent venues simply could not survive. We are very much in that bracket. Independent bands, venues, labels, promoters and gig-goers live in a unique symbiotic relationship where what we create as a whole is only as much as the sum of its parts. This ethos of individuality can so easily be crushed in the current unstable world of music. So support now more than ever is not just important but vital for its survival.”
Independent Venue Week kicked off with a seven day long series of gigs at 90 independent venues, running from the January 26 with Franker Turner as its 2015 ambassador.
Independent Venue Week’s support of UK talent is shared by Vauxhall Motors which has made the adapted Vivaro available throughout 2015 to bands like Frankie and the Heartstrings, as well as other UK acts.
Sybil Bell, co-founder of Independent Venue Week, said: “So much of the time bands spend touring is travelling around the country in a van between venues, so Vauxhall is the perfect partner for Independent Venue Week. The van becomes the bands own mini ecosystem – it can be both a lot of fun, pretty intense and where bands really bond.”
Denis Chick, director of communications, Vauxhall Motors said: “The UK is renowned for its great pop and rock bands, yet, every successful act has started playing gigs at the diverse array of small and independent venues we have in the UK. Vauxhall has always supported British talent and Vivaro on Tour can hopefully help some of these bands as they start out. Vivaro on Tour also celebrates British manufacturing, our workforce in Luton and the UK’s last remaining light commercial vehicle manufacturing plant.”